Episode 19: The Black Fairy
In theory this could have been a great episode as it goes into Rumple and the Black Fairy’s origins. Unfortunate the fan theory about The Black Fairy being the Hyde to The Blue Fairy’s Jekyll were not true. The Hyde plot exist solely for Regina.
The Black Fairy was just a loving woman named Fiona who is told by Fairy Tiger Lily that Rumple is the or A Savior, who will die by some great evil born in winter of that year. Question, why doesn’t Tiger Lily get a color name? Like Tink was Green. Anyway I could understand this show a little better if Saviors are always or at least sometimes the product of true love but nope just random lottery with too much light magic and a tragic fate. Still doesn’t explain why Emma’s magic went from being True Love based to Savior base. Ho-hum!
Miraculously, Fiona is peasant woman who can read and reads enough Fairy Lore to turn herself into a fairy. Okay, who is else finds it interesting that she a yellow coded fairy and sports a hairstyle very similar to Belle’s hairstyle in the movie. Clever.
Anyway her dark secret is that by trying to make save Rumple she crafts the Dark curse but when Tiger Lily tries to stop Fiona, Fiona tries to kill her turning her into The Black Fairy and the evil destined to kill Rumple. Tiger Lily gives her the shears to cut off her destiny and magic but The Black Fairy cuts Rumple ties to his Savior status and Blue banishes her. Why is that such a dark secret?
There are many issues with this backstory. The biggest is that Rumple says something to effect that dark magic originated with The Black Fairy but that can’t be true. Dark Magic started with Nimue turning into the first Dark One which had to been at least 100 years prior to Rumpe being born. I mean if we go off the timeline Nimue lives 500 years prior to Snow and David’s time. The Timeline is very shaky though. Another problem is the authorship of Dark Curse is all over the place. It seems like Rumple crafted it back when he wanted to follow Baelfire to the Land without Magic. Or did he just modify it? Seem less impactful if he did.
The backstory really didn’t clear up much. If anything is raises more questions like, why did she steal children? Was it an echo of Rumple’s original tale? Because his children kidnapping made no sense. In fact it made such little sense the show offers two maybe reasons. There was the selling of his 2nd born and luring his mother out. How did he even know The Black Fairy was his mother? His father thought she was dead.
Probably the biggest question it raise is what is The Black Fairy’s motivation for killing Emma now? It makes zero sense. Her first plan was to break out her from her realm to get to Rumple. It just seems like something she fixated on with no reason and makes “ The Final Battle” even more contrived.
One more thing that could be considered interesting, Rumple and Aladdin both cut their fate but it still did creep up to them. Aladdin became a Genie to save Agrabah and Rumple died killing his own father to save Storybrooke. Perhaps Saviors never truly get cut from their fate they just lose their light magic. Tragic fates still pending.
However that is not the only issue with the episode. But before we get more into that, anyone notice that the design of the Dragon Egg is straight out of Game of Thrones? Because it was obvious.
Okay the other issue, Rumple lied to Emma’s face and nothing! Why do people trust this guy so readily? Honestly there didn’t need this “superpower” for Emma. I probably would have forgotten about it, if only Emma hadn’t brought it up. You know someone should watch the series all over again and see how many times Emma catches a lie and how many time she doesn’t. That would be interesting infomation. She probably fair better in season 1 but trails off after season 3.
Another issue and this is a nitpick, Regina telling Zelena to flee to New York with Robin and Henry. Why is it always New York. Anywhere in Maine is technically safer as there no magic but they bring up New York all the time. I mean they know Massachusetts exists and Boston hasn’t been mention since like season 4. But for fun let’s say that Storybrooke is somewhere near Cutler, Maine, it’s on the coast much like Storybrooke and judging from a map doesn’t have much nearby, could be wrong. Cutler Maine to New York City is a 9 hour drive. I think this constant escape to New York City is just annoying me. Seriously is because there are two empty apartments? Does Rumple rent the apartment? Prime Manhattan real estate is left unoccupied? That is the really fantasy of Once Upon a Time.
Another bit of fantasy that is another logic issue is that in the previous episode season 6 Episode 18: Where Bluebirds Fly, Emma says that the wedding should be postponed. Now in season 6 episode 19: The Black Fairy, the wedding is next day! What the heck? And Hook asks Henry to be his best man the night before? What the what? Are Emma and Hook eloping? Who does this? They rushed this because I won’t pretend to be an expert but weddings take planning. Maybe in Storybrooke they can expedite things with magic. But a pesto royal wedding that’s pure fluffy fantasy. Can’t really suspend logic for that one
The only highlight of this episode was Zelena hitting The Black Fairy with a car.
Regina makes with teasing quip about ig Zelena has to flee with Henry and Robin, that it would be Henry raising Zelena but come to think about Zelena might be the best mother. She clearly loves and takes care of Robin all by herself pretty much and she cared for Roland in New York. How much do Snow and David do for Neal? Oh well maybe they just royals and have someone else looking after their baby.
This episode was wasted potential and a mix of poor choices. If they hadn’t done the whole Jekyll and Hyde and EQ plot the Origins of The Black Fairy and Rumple could have been better but still with the origins of the Dark one and Season 1 Rumple, this backstory just clashes with the show’s own mythos.
Episode 20: The Song in Your Heart
What? A musical episode? Okay, going to separate this one out a little bit. Going to review it as an regular episode then as a musical.
The opening maintain the wrong continuity that Emma was in Minneapolis young child. Season 4 called it said she was in Boston. So unless there is a past section that corrects this error I’m going to blame a writer.
Anyway young Emma start singing into a tape record and then some other older orphan tells her that because she’s alone no will want to hear her sing. Not sure that makes sense. Loneliness doesn’t equal lack of singing talent.
Turns out in the past Snow and Charming wished for something to help Emma get her happy ending which is a song but Snow and Charming start bursting into song. The spell affects everyone around mainly Regina, Hook and Zelena who is in OZ. Rumple isn’t affect and while the joke about him not singing was obvious it still was cute. Zelena decided to help Regina break the song as weird way of oneupmanship. Snow and Charming feel defeated but The Blue Fairy, who cast the song, tells them the song wasn’t really broken it still in fetus Emma and she will use it against the final boss, who is not Regina.
As Emma plans for wedding later that night, The Black Fairy tells her the curse will drop at 6pm unless Emma gives up her heart. Emma tries but Henry finds the Song part of the story and Emma uses her songstress powers against The Black fairy. After the wedding the curse falls. Doesn’t the Black Fairy dust turn people into bugs? Turns out everyone thinks it will transport them somewhere, a Dark Curse 4.0.
Before discussing the musical aspect of the episode let’s nitpick it more. I have a problem believing Emma took the tape recorder from her group home, kept it, brought it to Storybrooke, never used it again but she rewound it? I mean what? Then again the camcorder from season 4. It’s the same thing.
Hook also tries to nearly kill Rumple with Dreamshade but it doesn’t even remotely work. Season 2 called however and it said that the dreamshade was seconds away from killing Rumple. Remember when his name was fading off the dagger. It was only Snow traded Cora’s life for Rumple that he didn’t die. And Rumple can die remember season 3 when he died? Also Dark Ones die, that is how Rumple became a Dark One in the first place. Show is it asking too much that you remember events that happened?
Oh and The Black fairy reveals her motivations for fighting Emma. It because Good and Evil were destined to fight. Weak! For a show that keeps trying to redeem its villains and heroes do questionable things, this one is so black and white. It’s super contrived.
I don’t care if this show is a fantasy, what kind of bride doesn’t pick out a wedding gown on her big day but literally has three wedding dresses on stand-by? Hook did the same thing. He had a white suit but then wore an all black tux.
I was also really disappoint by Emma’s wedding gown. First off it was a copy of Grace Kelly’s gown and on its own was pretty but didn’t suit Emma’s character at all. Apparently the reason for that was Jennifer Morrison liking Kelly’s dress. Costumers shouldn’t curtail to actors as much. It’s not about the actor it’s about character. The red gown she wore to that Ball in the past end season three suited her better. But then again there was an odd dress code at the wedding. Why were all the men in tuxes but the ladies were not in formal attire. The men were dressed for a formal nighttime wedding but the ladies’ dresses were suited more for an afternoon garden wedding. Why did the show miss a chance to dress up the ladies? Also astroturf as a aisle runner on a roof? Show, are you smoking-crack-crazy?
That brings up to the musical part of the episode. The story really just facilitates the musical segments. They are integrated well and the past doesn’t really retcon other events so that is plus.
Let’s not mince words, the actors are not professional singers, they all got tech help though they don’t sound robotic or super obvious for the most part.
The first song is called “Powerful Magic” and it sung by David and Snow. Snow wishes for a way to give Emma a happy ending and poof they sing all the time. It’s a nice upbeat song. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas’ voice are suited to this song. Overall it was enjoyable
Regina is next. Turns out she doesn’t like this spell. Her song is called “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” Aside from Lana Parrilla chewing the scene this not a good song. It’s kinda all over the place. She is clearly having fun with so I can see people enjoying for that reason and her ruining other people’s song is fun. The song doesn’t seem suited to Lana Parrilla’s voice even though it was written for her. You can just hear her struggling with it even though the auto-tuning
Hook is the next one to get a song. It’s called “Revenge is Gonna be Mine,” you can guess what that is about. Snow and David hire him to take them to Regina. Hook refuses until Snow and David offer Rumple as the payment. So far this is the best one. Colin O’Donoghue has really good voice and it’s a fun jointy song. Who doesn’t like singing dancing pirates in a bar?
For some reason the spell affects OZ so Zelena gets a song. It’s called “Wicked Always Wins.” It’s not the strongest song and the visuals are weak by Rebecca Mader has a nice tone to her voice.
The next song is “Charmings vs Evil Queen” this just a remix of “Powerful Magic” and “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” It’s a battle in song.
The next one is the weaponized song. “Emma’s Theme” is the song that Emma uses to beat The Black Fairy or really just unfreeze her family as they got frozen in time. Jennifer Morrison doesn’t have the strongest of voices. It much softer than you would accept. It could be a case that the song was not all that suited to her voice.
The last song of the episode is “A Happy Beginning.” This is an ensemble piece where all the major characters get a solo. Jennifer Morrison isn’t much of a singer. Oddly Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas were weaker in this song but Lana Parrilla’s voice sounded much better. This song is better with the ensemble singing than with the solo. The “Nah Nah Nah’ part was unnecessary. The song went on a bit but was okay.
So visuals for the song were a little weird. They did make good use of the sets and angles. They also made the dancers make sense as they felt natural in the scene except for Zelena’s song where she just terrorize the munchkins. There was a habit of playing to the camera like an audience which was off-putting. You don’t have to do that with the medium. Make it more of a music video and less stagey.
When I heard there was musical episode I thought it was going to be awful but it was pretty good. The episode’s plot is just an excuse to make it a musical. The plot didn’t however ruin any of the previous plot elements and did advance the story. Was it perfect? No. Was it enjoyable? Yes. I can even forgive the weird style of the wedding and even the Dreamshade/immortal thing. Also did Belle not get an invite?